|Iran launches first drilling rig at Azar oil field||
As part of plans to develop the Azar oil field jointly owned by Iran and Iraq, the Islamic Republic has launched the first drilling rig for operation at the field.
Drilling at the “Persia 1” rig was launched on Tuesday in the presence of Iranian first Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi.
Drilling Manager at Iran’s Oil Industries Engineering and Construction Company Fazel Jamalzadeh said 19 oil wells are scheduled to be drilled in the Azar field, adding that each well is expected to yield 4,000 barrels of oil daily.
Jamalzadeh went on to say that with the completion of the Azar development project, Iran’s crude oil production will increase by 65,000 barrels each day.
In October 2011, Iran's Oil Ministry inked a USD 1.9-billion contract with a consortium of domestic companies for the development of the Azar oil field.
Before assigning the project to the domestic consortium, Iran was negotiating the development of Azar oil field with Russia's Gazprom Company. However, Gazprom was dropped from the project due the company’s failure to meet its commitments.
The Azar oil field spans an overall area of 482 square kilometers in southeast of Mehran town in the western Iranian province of Ilam.
Iran shares oil and gas fields with most of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf region. In July 2011, Iranian energy officials said that as much as 35 percent of the country's energy development budget would go toward the development of joint oilfields.
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